BlackRock Inc. Raises Stake in Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT)

BlackRock Inc. raised its holdings in shares of Essent Group Ltd. (NYSE:ESNT) by 16.9% during the third quarter, according to its most recent disclosure with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The fund owned 12,553,405 shares of the financial services provider’s stock after acquiring an additional 1,815,684 shares during the period. BlackRock Inc. owned about 11.17% of Essent Group worth $464,601,000 at the end of the most recent reporting period.

Several other hedge funds have also bought and sold shares of ESNT. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC grew its holdings in shares of Essent Group by 43.2% during the 2nd quarter. Nisa Investment Advisors LLC now owns 1,045 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $38,000 after purchasing an additional 315 shares during the last quarter. Assenagon Asset Management S.A. bought a new stake in Essent Group in the third quarter worth $7,893,000. Sei Investments Co. boosted its position in Essent Group by 21.6% during the second quarter. Sei Investments Co. now owns 78,253 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $4,040,000 after buying an additional 13,898 shares during the period. WINTON GROUP Ltd grew its stake in shares of Essent Group by 220.0% during the second quarter. WINTON GROUP Ltd now owns 55,742 shares of the financial services provider’s stock valued at $2,022,000 after buying an additional 38,323 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Aigen Investment Management LP bought a new position in shares of Essent Group during the second quarter valued at about $1,200,000. 93.33% of the stock is currently owned by hedge funds and other institutional investors.

NYSE:ESNT opened at $45.02 on Friday. The company has a 50-day moving average price of $42.10 and a 200-day moving average price of $36.57. The stock has a market cap of $5.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 9.72 and a beta of 1.42. Essent Group Ltd. has a 12 month low of $17.52 and a 12 month high of $55.84.

Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT) last released its quarterly earnings results on Friday, November 6th. The financial services provider reported $1.11 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.99 by $0.12. The company had revenue of $243.00 million during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $240.48 million. Essent Group had a net margin of 49.62% and a return on equity of 14.53%. Essent Group’s revenue was up 7.3% on a year-over-year basis. During the same period in the prior year, the firm earned $1.47 earnings per share. On average, equities research analysts expect that Essent Group Ltd. will post 3.7 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Thursday, December 10th. Stockholders of record on Tuesday, December 1st will be given a $0.16 dividend. This represents a $0.64 annualized dividend and a dividend yield of 1.42%. The ex-dividend date is Monday, November 30th. Essent Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 11.31%.

Several equities research analysts recently weighed in on the company. The Goldman Sachs Group initiated coverage on Essent Group in a report on Monday, September 21st. They set a “buy” rating and a $46.00 target price for the company. JPMorgan Chase & Co. increased their price objective on Essent Group from $44.50 to $50.00 and gave the company an “overweight” rating in a research note on Monday, November 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Essent Group from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, November 11th. TheStreet upgraded shares of Essent Group from a “c+” rating to a “b-” rating in a report on Monday, November 2nd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada increased their price target on shares of Essent Group from $39.00 to $50.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Tuesday, November 10th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $47.33.

Essent Group Profile

Essent Group Ltd., through its subsidiaries, provides private mortgage insurance and reinsurance for mortgages secured by residential properties located in the United States. Its mortgage insurance products include primary, pool, and master policy. The company also provides information technology maintenance and development services; customer support-related services; and contract underwriting services.

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Institutional Ownership by Quarter for Essent Group (NYSE:ESNT)

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